Google Chrome Tops 20% (or 13%) for June

Google Chrome has hit 20 percent market share, according to StatCounter. Net Applications has Chrome cracking 13 percent. Either way, Chrome is growing fast versus IE and Firefox.

Most Internet researchers agree that Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Chrome Web browser is steadily gaining market share at the expense of established rivals Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.

Two top browser researcher disagree on just how much market share Chrome has worldwide. StatCounter said Google claimed 20.7 percent browser share for June, up from 2.8 percent a year ago. Net Applications claimed Chrome actually corralled 13.1 percent, up from 12.5 percent through May.

More broadly, StatCounter said Firefox is next in line to be passed by Chrome at 28.3 percent, with IE at 43.6 percent. On the (much) lower end of the scale, Safari is at 5 percent, with Opera claiming 1.7 percent through the month.

Net Applications meanwhile has IE at 53.7 percent, Firefox at 21.7 percent, Safari at 7.5 percent and Opera at the same 1.7 percent.

While there is a wide differential between both firms' figures, it's clear Chrome is gaining share and momentum.

From Google Chrome officials own lips at Google I/O in May, eWEEK heard Chrome had racked up more than 160 million users, up from 120 million in December. If that trend holds true, Chrome should crack the 200 million mark in October.

Royal Pingdom crunched some numbers based on StatCounter's stats and guessed Chrome could pass Firefox this November and IE by June 2012.

Assuming Chrome's ascent continues at its average growth rate over the past six months (consider that it took Chrome only two years to hit 10 percent share) Chrome could even hit 50 percent share by November 2012, Royal Pingdom said.

There are many reasons for Chrome's upswing:accelerated release cycles, which means Google is putting snazzy new features that other browsers lack in front of users faster. Case in point: the Chrome Speech capabilities to enable voice search on the desktop.

Chrome advertising and marketing for the browser and Chrome Operating System have also been playing their parts in the growth. Google last year began advertising Chrome on, the New York Times and other high-profile Websites for a year.

In May, Google began pushing Chrome as the center of users life experiences, planting a marketing seed for Chrome OS notebooks.

The first Samsung Series 5 Chromebook launched June 15, while the Acer AC700 machine won't ship until mid-month.

It's unclear how many Series 5 Samsung sold through and Best Buy online. Google July made Series 5 Chromebooks vailable for flights in hotels.

EWEEK will update readers when it learns more on this score, but you can bet the buzz had helped draw attention to the Chrome browser.